Artadia is pleased to announce the Awardees for the 2017 Los Angeles Artadia Awards: Kahlil Joseph and Gala Porras-Kim. As the 2017 Los Angeles Artadia Awardees, Joseph and Porras-kim will receive $10,000 in unrestricted funds as well as access to the ongoing benefits of the Artadia Awards program. This is Artadia’s third year providing unrestricted Awards to artists in Los Angeles. Applications for the Awards were open to any visual artist living in Los Angeles County, for over two years, working in all media and at any stage of their career.

In the first round of jurying, Daniel Joseph Martinez, artist, Los Angeles, CA; Yesomi Umolu, Exhibitions Curator, Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts, Chicago, IL; and Anuradha Vikram, Artistic Director, 18th Street Arts Center, Los Angeles, CA, selected five Finalists: Carmen Argote, Jibade-Khalil Huffman, Kahlil Joseph, Gelare Khoshgozaran, and Gala Porras-Kim. Bennett Simpson, Senior Curator, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, joined Vikram for the second round of evaluations. The jurors conducted studio visits with each of the five Finalists to determine the Awardees.

Vikram extolled the ways in which Porras-Kim engages with cultural heritage and language in her practice: “Gala Porras-Kim is an artist in whose work a restorative vision of the future is not only envisioned but actively created. With extreme care and cultural sensitivity, Porras-Kim uses art’s speculative and imaginative powers to focus attention on real-world cultures and languages that have been neglected. Through her own process of learning about and understanding the value of these endangered ways of being, Porras-Kim’s artworks enhance the fields of archaeology, museology, and linguistics as well as contemporary art.” Of Joseph, Vikram stated: “Kahlil Joseph has one of the most distinctively original visual styles of any artist currently working in film. His hybrid practice crossing cinema, visual art, fashion, and popular music is sparking conversation far beyond the usual art circles. Whether his work takes the form of immersive gallery installations or more conventional single-channel cinema display, Joseph captures the arresting choreography of the contemporary street, which is both his setting and his sphere of influence.”

Simpson highlighted how each Awardee uniquely captures the current zeitgeist: “It is an honor to award two such interesting and distinctive artists as Kahlil Joseph and Gala Porras-Kim. In a short time, Joseph has become one of the filmmakers people simply must pay attention to. His attention to choreography, sound, and cultural and community signifying—his particular poetics of blackness—is at home both in the museum and in the worlds of film and music. He is one of the indispensable voices of his moment. In a not-dissimilar manner, Porras-Kim brings an ethnopoetic interest in cultural heritage and translation to her many-layered installations. Her research acumen and politics allow histories to surface and merge with our moment.”

The 2017 Los Angeles Artadia Awards are made possible thanks to the generosity of Allison and Larry Berg, Artadia’s Board of Directors, Council members, and many individual donors in Los Angeles and throughout the United States.

Image, from left to right: Kahlil Joseph, m.A.A.d., 2014, 35mm motion picture still (“Streetlight”), 1240 x 670 pixels; Gala Porras-Kim, For Learning Zapotec Verbs, 2012, wood, pencil, paper, wire, found rocks, 50 x 37.5 x 2.5 inches